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New Pro-Life Law Goes Into Effect, Despite Attempts by Planned Parenthood to Block its Enforcement

By Jennifer Brinker | jbrinker@archstl.org | twitter: @jenniferbrinker

As a judge denied Planned Parenthood's request to block a portion of Senate Bill 5, demonstrations were held in front of five Planned Parenthood locations Oct. 24 to shine light on Missouri's newest pro-life law, which went into effect the same day.

Jackson County Circuit Court judge Judge S. Margene Burnett denied a request by several Planned Parenthood branches and the ACLU of Missouri for a temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction of parts of SB 5. The lawsuit, filed Oct. 10, targeted the state's 72-hour waiting period, which they noted will result in "extreme delays" of three or more weeks for women in areas not close to an abortion clinic. The law requires the same physician who will provide the abortion to also give information on the medical risks at least 72 hours earlier.

Pro-life advocates held press conferences Oct. 24 outside of Planned Parenthood locations in St. Louis, Columbia, Kansas City, Springfield and Joplin. Planned Parenthood has resumed offering abortions in Kansas City and Columbia, and has said it would seek to resume abortions in Springfield and Joplin. Speakers at the St. Louis press conference included Sens. Paul Wieland and Bill Eigel, Pam Fichter of Missouri Right to Life, Reagan Barklage of Students for Life of America, and Stacy Washington of radio talk show Stacy on the Right.

At the event, pro-life advocates drew attention to the 67 ambulance visits to Planned Parenthood in St. Louis since 2009. Participants dressed in all white to symbolize the number of ambulance calls to the facility. Karen Nolkemper, executive director of the archdiocesan Respect Life Apostolate said that while there are many unknowns about the calls — including the circumstances that bring women there and what complications they might have experienced — pro-life laws such as SB 5 and witnessing outside of abortion clinics will shine a light on the darkness of abortion.

"Health care is life-affirming," she said. "Health care promotes physical and mental well-being. Health care restores. Abortion is and does none of those things." 

Read the rest of the St. Louis Review article here.

Photo credit: Students for Life

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